Its all about the colours you use - contrasty neutrals, or dark blues, red and white.
The textures - rough and edgy, not too many layers.
The style of stamping - crisp, detailed, yet distressed and a little bit dirty.
For this card I chose "The Open Sea" stampset because its new and its in the Summer mini catalogue.
And, it has detailed stamp images of an anchor, world map, compass, ship's log, and a ship.
The colours are Black, Vanilla and River Rock (you could use sahara sand).
Giving lots of contrast and and character.
The four squares are punched out with the postage stamp punch.
Distressing the edges of the world map circle and also the black layer of cardstock.
I have used a splatter stamp (from the French Folliage stampset) for some dirty, seasalt-spray on the black background and used the ship's log stamped in white frost shimmer ink.
Basic Black ink on vanilla cardstock punched with the modern label punch.